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The Project Runway Blog

06
FRI

Night at the Museum

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:22am GMT

A museum is an overwhelming place for inspiration. Priceless pieces by the greatest artists of our time, architectural triumphs and even a fountain covered in algae all provide for a unique source of a garment. After 12 weeks of designing in a creative crucible, were any of these remaining five designers able to do something worthy of the challenge? Was Carol Hannah inspired by a bed because she just wanted to take a nap? Did Gordana pick a spiritual Monet painting because she just wanted some peace and tranquility back in her life? Did Christopher shed tears on the runway like the water flowing from ... oh, forget it. That's just what he does.

Regardless of the motivation, it seems like some of the strongest designers missed the mark with the pressure of the final challenge building. Irina scrapped from her design a fur piece Tim Gunn dubbed "roadkill," but was slammed for her use of heavy accessories by guest judge Cindy Crawford. Althea attempted an overly ambitious architectural piece that put her in jeopardy for the first time all season. Was now not the time to take a big risk in the competition?

Ep. 12: Who Should Have Been Sent Home?


In the end, consistently good work from our top three is what sent them to Fashion Week — and at least this time, with many miles between them, these ladies can't be accused of idea-copying and oversized-sweater-coveting, but I patiently await another accusatory video blog of Irina with a nanny-cam tape at the ready!


Is Carol Hannah, Irina or Althea taking home the win at Bryant Park? See pictures of their inspirations, past collections and work all season long in their "Project Runway" Portfolio before you place those bets. It's like your very own Periodic Table of Fashion Elements for the big exam!

03
TUE

"Project Runway" FIDM Grads

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 3:10pm GMT

Some of the most memorable contestants over the past six seasons of "Project Runway" (Johnny Sakalis and Nick Verreos, anyone?) have been FIDM graduates — where Season 6 was filmed in Los Angeles, CA. Check out our gallery of these FIDM grad designers now:


30
FRI

Uncle Nicky Talks Episode 11 Dirt!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:11am GMT

Read Season 2 alumnus Nick Verreos' take on judging for the first time, which designer he wouldn't want to design for him, what he's wearing to Heidi Klum's Halloween party and more!

By Rachel Cohen

So what was it like when you walked onto the set to judge?

I was thinking to myself, Should I put my instructor cap on and treat this like a mid-term or final exam with my students at FIDM? and also how I still wanted to be nice Uncle Nicky while judging. Most of all, I was aware that I’d been there and knew the designers’ pain, so I didn’t want to be critical for the sake of being mean; I wanted to be constructive.

Did the designers welcome you with open arms?

They jumped up and down, and were clapping. So I started jumping up and down! Instantly, I realized I had to simmer down, because in about an hour I may be wrecking them with my judging and one of them might want to slap me!

Were you comfy sitting between Heidi and Nina?

I was nervous sitting next to Nina. I’d feel comfortable giving Heidi high fives or having margaritas with her. Nina, not so much. It’s a different camaraderie with her. She has a certain demeanor, which did pile the nervous pressure on me to behave.

What was one thing that happened during judging that didn’t make it into the episode?

There was lot of discussion about Gordana's design. I thought her model looked like a secretary working at the Kremlin ... pushing secret papers in the old Soviet Union. Heidi added that it did remind her of her own country. We got into this whole East Germany–versus–West Germany sensibility in fashion and how this was the opposite look of the Oktoberfest girl [Epperson's design in a previous episode].

What about the hoopla regarding copying between Irina and Althea?

It's funny to watch Irina's bitchy commentary and the rivalry between her and everyone else. I didn't know any of that when I was the first one to say Althea's sweater looked like Irina's design. I was explaining how this happened in my classes at FIDM when Irina shot Althea a look and then [Althea] shot her one back. I guess I was "pot-stirring Uncle Nicky" when I asked about the similarities.

How was your fellow guest judge, Kerry Washington?

Amazing! She really wanted to spend time discussing each design. She wasn't just an actress showing up to promote her line. She really got involved in the deliberations. For example, she wasn't so negative about Gordana's design. She was like, "Look at me, I'm wearing an '80s jacket."

Any other big debates?

Yes — Carol Hannah's cocktail dress versus Althea's sweater and pants. Althea's design was more modern and looked more like the future of American sportswear, which is why she won. It's funny that there is a history with rewarding sportswear versus gowns and dresses. People associate American designers with sportswear, like Bill Blass and Calvin Klein. I'm a gown designer too, yet I found myself in judging rewarding the sportswear over the cocktail dress!

What is something that really surprised you during the show?

How dark and somber the colors were from the designers. At one point, I turned to Nina and said, "Has it been like this?" and she told me off the cuff, "Yes, we’re trying to get them to step it up." I know at this point in the competition, you are tired, very tired! Your creative and emotional self and your brain need a rest. I wanted these designs to make my hair stand up, but I did keep that in mind when looking at colors like gray ... which don’t excite me.

Which designer from Season 6 would you want to design for you?

Logan. It’s funny that I had a hand in taking him out, yet I’d choose him. I see him and want to look like him ... OK, I know I can’t look like him, but I want the look of his skinny jeans and accessories.

23
FRI

Fashion Geography 101 With Michael Kors

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 5:22am GMT

Too bad Season 2 designer (and myLifetime blogger) Nick Verreos wasn't around to provide a rundown of his favorite Grecian runway moments to Nicolas before he began his design this week! Taking an anti-dress stance, Nicolas began creating a concept squarely based around a pair of tailored gray cigarette pants, allowing Michael Kors to call him out on totally missing the Balkan Peninsula and ending up somewhere in the middle of a John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John movie musical.

However, even though Nicolas may have brought us a little closer to the Great White Way, Christopher found himself nowhere near New Mexico — and his model, Matar, knows a thing or two about the Wild West! This was the self-taught designer's fourth consecutive trip to the Bottom Three (Check out the "Project Runway" Scorecard!), but he was spared by the design gods yet again and our favorite feather-loving friend was sent packing. Will Christopher ever return to his promising moments in the beginning of the season, or is next week his last on the show?

Ep. 10: Who Should Have Been Sent Home?



On the flip side, Irina has won her third challenge. Did she luck out, or is this all a bit too easy for her? Check out her Episode 10 video blog, where she shares her love of outerwear an Aspen snow bunny would [have their butler] kill for and creating a luxe look for less:


21
WED

For a Chance to Meet Tim Gunn, Design a Dress From the Heart, For the Heart

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 12:48pm GMT

AdDress Your Heart Design ContestAre you a designer at heart? Then the "AdDress Your Heart" Design Contest is the perfect place to channel your inspiration. Campbell Soup Company and Tim Gunn, co-host of Lifetime's "Project Runway," have partnered to raise awareness about heart disease — the number one killer of women. Open your heart to the cause by visiting CampbellsAddressYourHeart.com to design a red dress and share your heart-health inspiration. You could win a trip to New York City, where your dress design will be debuted at a red carpet event with Tim Gunn in February!

Additionally, your dress design could become the next Campbell red dress, joining the ranks of a growing legacy of red dress couture from designers such as Nicole Miller and Michael Volbracht for Bill Blass.

Hurry up and enter — submit your design by November 6, 2009. Visit CampbellsAddressYourHeart.com to submit a red dress design and describe (in 250 words or less) why heart disease is a cause that is important to you, as well as share an inspiring story about your female "heart-health hero." The winning entrant and his/her heart-health hero will walk the red carpet of the Woman's Day Red Dress Awards with Tim Gunn to debut the dress!

Visit CampbellsAddressYourHeart.com for official contest rules and to learn more about Campbell products that fit into a heart-healthy lifestyle.

AdDress Your Heart Design Contest

16
FRI

Designing Blind for Famous Folks

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:03am GMT

Does the "Feather Prince of New York" have us seeing double? In his best "Runway" moments, his work is meticulous; beautifully and painstakingly handcrafted — and usually silver — but is Nicolas giving us only one note? Check out his designs for Episode 6 side by side with his designs for Episode 9:


That's two pieces from a collection right there! Done! Alas, somewhere an ostrich is a bit colder tonight, for naught. But as much as Nicolas hates ruffles, I love his outspoken, expletive-filled weekly video blogs. (Watch Nicolas declare his [unofficial] win for this challenge now.)

Ep. 9: Who Should Have Been Sent Home?



Were the designers at a disadvantage because they did not have an opportunity to consult with Christina herself before the challenge? With Christina Aguilera's versatile looks over the years, who but her alone is to say what the judges wanted to see? Was she getting "Dirrty" again, or is she going "Back to Basics" in her future stage look? Or perhaps she wanted to open a new chapter in her lookbook? Knowing her expectations might have brought a whole different aspect to this challenge.

Watch challenge winner Carol Hannah Whitfield explain the hang-ups involved in designing for a super-famous client you've never met in her Episode 9 video blog:

14
WED

Watch an Episode 9 Preview

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 12:01pm GMT

Watch this "Project Runway" Season 6, Episode 9 preview video, and start placing your bets on which designer is up to the challenge of impressing guest judge, designer (and Sultan of Sequins!) Bob Mackie, with a design for Grammy Award-winning Christina Aguilera. (A return to the "Dirrty" Xtina circa 2002 look, anyone?)

09
FRI

Willkommen to Divorcée Oktoberfest!

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 2:37am GMT

This episode might be my favorite of the season to date. Why? A divorce hits on Nicolas, Shirin takes a stand against Cher, and Heidi’s homeland is represented in a way it hasn’t been since Season 2.

Shirin's sassy client, divorcée Charlie, demands a Cher "Half Breed" tribute outfit to step back out into the dating scene, and with two yards of fabric and a dream, Shirin does Tim Gunn proud and truly makes it work, with a bit of ingenuity.

While Nicolas may not have been in love with his no wool–no silk–no leather–no fur creation for Stephanie (watch his Episode 8 designer video blog for the full hilarity of their brief relationship), she certainly loved it — and him. Awkward!

Grossly overlooked in this challenge? Carol Hannah's couture-esque creation for Lisa:

Carol Hannah Whitfield's Episode 8 Design

The girl is a magician. As is Gordana for the transformation she pulled on that dress to nab the win. By the way, some insider information: She writes her measurements on her sketches in Bosnian. (Check them out and see the rest of this week's sketches in the "Project Runway" Portfolio.)

Epperson, our elder statesman of the runway, may have shot himself in the foot by merely being honest. While Heidi deemed his black-and-white creation Oktoberfest-worthy, he wasn't alone in the German celebration. Logan's ill-fitting pants and frilly white top for Leah could have been his ticket home, too.

Ep. 8: Who Should Have Been Sent Home?



So, did Epperson say too much when he admitted to not initially understanding the challenge? Was that what sent him packing instead of Logan? Sound off here on the blog, and watch Epperson's final video blog now:

07
WED

Tim Gunn to Guest Star on "How I Met Your Mother"

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 12:46pm GMT

Source: Los Angles Times: Show Tracker

It's a very "Project Runway" 100th episode of "How I Met Your Mother"! Tim Gunn will make a guest appearance on the hit show alongside "Project Runway" guest judge Rachel Bilson.

Watch a clip from Tim Gunn's Workroom where he critiques Irina Shabayeva and Gordana Gehlhausen's Episode 7 designs now:

02
FRI

Ep. 7: Christopher Tries to Outdo Andrae's Legendary Bucket of Tears

Posted By CaitlinBergmann 6:05am GMT

First of all, welcome back to Michael Kors. In case you forgot he was back, he made someone cry to remind you. Big time.

The self-proclaimed dream team of "Christopperson" didn't live up to the workroom hype, and even though Epperson managed to pull a "MacGyver" and create functioning buttonholes out of thin air, it wasn't going to fool the judges into thinking these designs were cohesive. Alas, they did help inspire the new Michael Kors catchphrase "Disco Pumpkin," which Heidi especially loves ... and from the looks of her uncontrollable laughter, may soon petition to Merriam-Webster:

As the winner of this special challenge, Irina Shabayeva created a holiday look for Macy's INC line. Check out Irina on the red carpet of a recent Marie Claire and Lifetime "Project Runway" event during New York Fashion Week wearing her Macy's INC design:

Irina Shabayeva wears a her holiday design for Macy's INC line during New York Fashion Week, 2009

Now, time for the weekly poll. Was Nicolas lucky to have immunity this week, or was he simply following the lead of Louise's ruffle-filled vision?

Ep. 7: Who Should Have Been Sent Home?



If you want to see what Nicolas (and the other design partners) would have created if he were chosen during the Macy's INC pitch, check out the designers' Episode 7 sketches in the "Project Runway" portfolio now.